Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891

Lettres

Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

Curious News from Sark

Penned upon the 14th of December, 2008

Sark, the English Channel Island which this year began the transition from a feudal to a republican state, has had its first elections. That’s odd, but probably to be expected. About 10% of the population offered their candidacy for the first election – that’s kind of funny, but a natural consequence of the small population. Most of the elected candidates were traditionalists who supported holding on to the forms of the old feudal system – that makes sense, it’s what the population are accustomed to. And the billionaire Barclay brothers, when it became clear that their preferred candidates hadn’t been elected, have withdrawn their businesses from the island and put a sixth of the population out of work. That’s… probably the neatest, most overt example of investors extorting the public I’ve ever heard of.

Owning one island wasn’t enough for them, and they had to cow another into obeying their every whim? Certainly, one might say, those are their businesses, they can do what they like with them – but as soon as others laid their stake in the livelihood of those busineses, they ceased to be the moral property purely of those who ponied up the money for them. And conflicts between capital and labour are bad enough, without deliberately engineering conflicts between capital and the very workings of democracy. Comprimise is part of politics, but bullying the voters directly, that’s just bad play.

Sark did always seem a bit fuddy-duddyish to me, but I still value isolated weirdoes – after all, I am one – and ordering a whole island of them to play it your way or be unemployed en masse? That’s just rotten.


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Commentary upon “Curious News from Sark”

  1. Melanthios was heard to remark,

    Upon the 15th of December, 2008 at 9:06 pm,

    Rotten indeed, and quite childish. If you are going to have a republic, then have a bloody republic. At least have the taste to make the corruption covert, good lord.


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